MSC Cruises Pauses Mediterranean Sailings, Will Restart in January

Citing new holiday travel restrictions by the Italian government, MSC Cruises has temporarily paused its sailings in the Mediterranean. This has meant the cancellation of several cruises, but the line plans to restart voyages in mid-January.

In its press release, the line said "extensive restrictions across Italy effectively make it impossible for local and international guests to travel to and from any Italy-based embarkation ports." Those new measures apply for the Christmas and New Year's holiday travel period between December 21 and January 6. 

Three week-long MSC Grandiosa sailings have been cancelled, starting with the ship's seven-night sailing on December 20 from Genoa, Italy. MSC Cruises said the ship will restart sailing on January 10, 2021. In addition, three MSC Magnifica voyages were cancelled. That ship was set to restart 10-night eastern and western Mediterranean cruises from Genoa on December 18, but now the first three cruises will not operate. The ship is expected to begin voyages on January 15, 2021.  

MSC Cruises said the recent Italian government actions almost totally restricts the movement of residents not only between regions but also between cities and towns. The holiday measures will apply to residents of Italy and also restrict the ability of residents of other countries to travel to and through Italy.

The line began sailing in the Mediterranean in August and has developed a comprehensive health and safety protocol. Thus far, MSC Cruises has carried 30,000 passengers on voyages through the fall and into this month. MSC Cruises' press release said that protocol is working well, "even during the past several weeks—while the pandemic ashore was at its most recent peak."

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